Cellphone stops bullet and saves the life of college football player shot in drive-by shooting, Florida police say

News & Politics

A star college football player was the victim of a drive-by shooting on Wednesday,


to Florida police, but his life was spared because his cellphone took a bullet for him.

The 20-year-old man was walking from the Step in Food convenience store to his father’s home in Port Salerno at about 11 p.m. when someone fired at him from a car, according to Martin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Budensiek.

“It’s by the grace of God that we’re not discussing a serious homicide case today,” said Budensiek.

“As he was getting near his house, a vehicle drove up, and the passenger in the front of that vehicle opened fire at him with a high-powered rifle,” he added.

Two of the bullets struck the man in the thigh and in the hand. One shattered his cellphone, which he was holding up to his face while talking.

Police say

that the cellphone likely saved his life.

Investigators did not release the man’s name but did confirm that he had no criminal history.

“This is alarming for us, that area is a relatively safe, quiet area,” Budensiek added.

He added that the football player was in town for the holidays but normally attended school out of state.

Dominick Victor, a close friend of the victim,

told WPTV-TV

that he was horrified when he got the call about his friend.

“None of this feels real, it’s hard to like, so much emotion, it just doesn’t feel real,” he said.

Police are trying to identify a suspect and released a surveillance video from a Ring camera showing what they believe to be the car of the shooter speeding away. They are still investigating whether the shooting was targeted or random.

“It’s an attempted homicide case, inches from a homicide case,” said Budensiek.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

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